Mar 4 15

An Abercrombie and Fitch update: “Mean is out” as sales drop


It’s earnings time again for Abercrombie and Fitch. This report, however, is the teen retailer’s first since former CEO Mike Jeffries stepped down amid concerns the company’s sometimes controversial cool factor wasn’t resonating with today’s consumers.

So, has the change in leadership and a more humble brand attitude made an impact? Not yet. For the critical fourth quarter holiday period, the company reported sales were down 14 percent. Upon that news, stock prices have hit a new 13-year low.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Feb 26 15

2015 is the year to celebrate customer experience


February is the month where New Year’s resolutions come to die. By the end of the month, January’s good intentions gradually find themselves lacking the stamina to keep up with the hustle of real life.

Similarly, frantic predictions about imperative trends that must be implemented immediately appear to calm down as the calendar ticks forward a month.

However, among the many shiny prognostications about all things digital in 2015, there is one that we find, after some consideration, to be particularly compelling.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

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Feb 25 15

5 questions with rbb’s Tina Elmowitz: The power of the Conscious Consumer


Did you know that consumers are willing to pay 31 percent more for food that is produced in ways that advance the wellbeing of the planet, humans and safety of food sources?

In fact, most Americans rely on their friends’ opinions and experiences over what they hear in the news, or the content they see being pushed out by food retailers, to educate themselves on a food company’s human and planet mindfulness.

That’s what Gibbs-rbb uncovered as part of the Conscious Consumer study. What does this mean for the food and beverage industry? Consumers’ purchasing habits are changing, and marketing professionals need to focus on telling the story of a brand – from soil to shelf.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Feb 24 15

3 ways your mobile marketing program may fail in 2015


Mobile has been at the center of digital programs for a while now, but 2015 may be the year it finally comes of age and fulfills its disruptive potential across a wider range of industries.

That said, too many digital programs are still considering mobile as just one more channel, rather than an entirely new platform requiring significant shifts in planning and execution.

We think there are three key areas that could be pitfalls for most organizations in the coming year.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Feb 23 15

Know your narrative: 5 PR lessons from NBA star Kevin Durant’s media outburst


While amazing athletic feats and extremely passionate fans define the sports world to most, this industry has also provided PR pros a variety of lessons and case studies on topics such as crisis communications, reputation management and transparency.

The latest example pulled from the sports back page involves NBA All-Star Kevin Durant. In a recent interview, Durant ripped into media asserting that, in addition to not knowing anything about basketball (though using more colorful language), media essentially were going to write what they wanted, despite what he would or would not say.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Feb 18 15

Brian Williams and the state of media: A conversation with longtime newsman David Lyons


In the wake of the Brian Williams scandal and subsequent suspension from NBC News, I spoke with longtime newspaper reporter and editor, David Lyons, to get his take on the situation and how he currently views the media.

David has been a journalist for more than 40 years including as a writer at The Miami Herald, editor-in-chief at the Daily Business Review and his current position as editor-in-chief at EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine.

Below are my questions and his responses, which have been edited for brevity.

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Posted in: Media

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Feb 18 15

Brian Williams’ “Hero Syndrome”: What media, companies and brands can learn from this anchor’s big mistake


NBC’s emotional coverage of a tribute for a retired soldier who provided ground security in Iraq for Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams certainly had some unintended consequences. Namely, the discovery that Williams’ claims of being on a helicopter that was forced down by an RPG hit during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion in Iraq are false.

Over the past few years, hundreds of companies have developed programs to support and honor our military and returning soldiers. It is truly wonderful that our country has rallied to support those who make the tremendous sacrifice to defend our freedom and honor in the armed services. At the same time, aligning with the military is also a smart brand move. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, the military continues to rank as the most trusted institution in America, a position it’s held for almost 25 years.

However, as organizations consider the best way to honor, engage and support military families, there are unique considerations that come into play.

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Posted in: Crisis Communication

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Feb 17 15

Why Ithaca is a Breakout Brand for telling tourists to stay away


Ithaca is gorges. That’s been the tourism slogan for this beautiful area in New York’s Finger Lakes for many years. But today, marketers are saying “Ithaca is refreshingly honest and exceedingly smart.”

Bruce Stoff, director of Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau, is getting national attention from the likes of the TODAY Show on the Bureau’s decision to “surrender to winter.”

As reported in the Miami Herald, the website shows “Visit Ithaca” crossed out and an invitation to visit the Keys instead until things in Ithaca “thaw out.” The article lauds the area for truth in advertising.

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Posted in: Marketing, breakout brands

Feb 3 15

“Future of Journalism” panel: How the newsroom is entering the 21st century


Five years ago, most journalists probably wouldn’t have predicted where the industry would be in 2015, what with the rise of digital media and its impact on traditional journalism.

Still, in my opinion, technology hasn’t killed journalism. It’s shaken up the media business model and ushered it into a new age – one where journalists aren’t simply responsible for storytelling but also engaging with their audiences through social media, blog posts and other mediums.

In fact, social media is dramatically shaping the way news is consumed, distributed and reported. For example, 30 percent of Americans, including myself, are increasingly turning to Facebook for news updates, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

But all these changes weren’t really “news” to the six media experts selected to join the Future of Journalism panel presented by PRSA Miami and Social Media Club South Florida in January 2015.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Jan 14 15

Does McDonald’s new ad campaign deserve the backlash?


When McDonald’s new ad campaign aired during the recent NFL Playoff game, it caught my attention right away. It features the iconic burger chains’ roadway arches signs imprinted with messages of hope and gratitude.

Some of the words reflect national moments, including “Boston Strong” and “We Remember 911.” Others are more local and personal – “Happy 95th Birthday Woody We Love You” and “It’s a Girl Rosalie Kay.” All it took was the musical element – a school choir singing “Carry On” by Fun. – to bring a tear to my eye. Our friends watching the game together shared the same sentiment – we loved the ads.

That’s why I was surprised to read and hear multiple reports of backlash against the campaign. Some called it tone deaf, tasteless and marketing propaganda.

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Posted in: Marketing

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